Apart from baking I’ve another other various hobbies and interests, one of them being folklore. I just love reading about old traditions and folklore, it’s something I find fascinating.
In terms of food, when I think if Midsummer I imagine mounds of all different kinds of berries, think strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, loganberries, blackberries and cherries.
Midsummer’s Eve fall on or around the 22nd of June as Midsummer’s Day is traditionally celebration on either the 23rd or 24th June. There are many traditions and folk tales associated with these days which go back thousand of years. For example many stone monuments and stone circles are aligned to great the sunrise on midsummer day. A famous stone monument here in the UK is Stonehenge, on midsummer day, the sun rises over the heel stone which is framed by the trilithons. Nowadays Pagan’s celebrate the festival with modern-day druids flocking to the sacred site each Midsummer to celebrate the occasion.
The festival of midsummer is mainly a Celtic Fire Festival representing the middle of summer and the lead up to winter. Fire’s would be lit in high places all around the country-side where domestic animals of the land were blessed with fire by walking them around the fires in a sun wise direction. It is also said that people would jump high through the fire and whoever jumped the highest would be setting the height for the upcoming harvest.
Once Christianity was adopted in Britain the festival became an important date in the church calendar and midsummer day became known as St John’s Day and Midsummer’s Ever St John’s Eve. The time between these two days was said that the veil between our world and the mystical was at its thinnest and is said that fairies was abundant and at their most powerful, hence Shakespeare’s play Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I’ve created a Dark Berry Gelato from Scoop – Ellen Brown. As you may know I’m working my way through the book already having made Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, Pistachio Gelato and most recently this Cappuccino Chip Gelato. So far so good, this berry gelato didn’t disappoint at all. It’s fruity, creamy, smooth and captures the best of summer time berries. My choice being British grown strawberries, raspberries and blueberries working beautifully together.
Whether it’s just another day or if it signifies anything at all for you, this Dark Berry Gelato makes a luscious dessert and a tasty cool down from a day spent enjoying the sun.
Dark Berry Gelato
- 75 grams Fresh blueberries
- 65 grams Fresh raspberries
- 100 grams Fresh strawberries sliced in half
- 100 grams Caster sugar
- 675 ml Whole milk
- 185 ml Whipping cream
- 60 ml Golden syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Non fat dry milk powder
- 2 tablespoons Cornflour
In a medium size saucepan combine the berries, sugar and 125 ml water and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 3 minutes. Blitz in a food processor until smooth and return to the sauce pan.
Add to the saucepan 375 m milk, cream, golden syrup and salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring and remove from the heat once the mixture begins to steam. Do not let it boil.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together the remaining milk, milk powder and cornflour until the powders dissolve. Add this to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring until the mixture has thickened. Pass through a fine sieve into a storage container and cover the surface with clingfilm. Refrigerate overnight.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer back into storage container and freeze until firm. Before serving let the gelato sit for 15 minutes to soften.
- Recipe adapted from Scoop - Ellen Brown